Business aviation groups welcomed a letter from the FAA to the commissioner of internal revenue asking him to suspend implementation of new fuel tax rules that would impose a “significant administrative burden” on general aviation businesses and “create financial risk for the Airport and Airways Trust Fund.” The new rules would raise the tax rate on jet fuel to that of costlier highway diesel fuel but allow aviation jet fuel buyers to apply f
Federal Aviation Administration
With input from NBAA, the FAA has taken steps it hopes will reduce air traffic congestion between the Northeast and Florida. So-called “Snowbird” routes connecting general aviation airports and Florida destinations can become clogged by significant volume between November and March, and crippling ground stops have resulted. Key choke points were identified as the eliot Intersection, white Intersection and wavy Intersection.
“We use the standard slot system like everyone else,” said a NetJets official in response to an AIN inquiry about how the frax operator gets slots under the FAA’s Special Traffic Management Program (STMP). One pilot, when hearing of the response, asked, “What did you expect them to say? ‘We cheat and get all the reservations we want?’”
How accurate are the NTSB’s published general aviation accident rate statistics and related data? Not accurate enough, according to the Safety Board.
Like the flu and other nasty bugs, the user-fee virus is making its periodic appearance as Congress considers FAA reauthorization, up for renewal in 2007. This cycle’s strain, however, appears to be particularly virulent.
• House Minority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) has been the subject of months of scrutiny for alleged improprieties in accepting travel paid for by lobbyists, which has led to finger-pointing by both parties. That, in turn, has caused a number of legislators to double-check their travel records to ensure that proper procedures for travel were followed.
Aero Battery of Cincinnati has received its first FAA Diamond Award, with all of the company’s technicians having received FAA-approved training last year. Aero Battery has been selling and servicing aviation lead acid and nickel-cadmium batteries since 1973 to operators in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.
The FAA also awarded Raytheon Aircraft Services the agency’s highest award for maintenance excellence. In addition to the service centers’ recognition, 278 employees each earned the recognition of an FAA award.
The FAA has awarded Executive Jet Management (EJM) a Diamond Award for aircraft maintenance training excellence. EJM received the award for having at least 25 percent of its maintenance technicians qualify for an individual training award last year. The company employs 122 maintenance technicians and supervisors and 54 support personnel.
American Eagle president and RAA chairman Peter Bowler posited a proposal to ease the airlines’ burden for funding FAA and ATC services: get business aviation to pay its fair share. “Airlines fund 90 percent of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund but account for only 60 percent of the activity,” Bowler said during an RAA press gathering. “Business jets in particular are getting a free ride.”